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Missouri casinos set to open June 1

Missouri casinos set to open June 1

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Ameristar Casino

Cars drive into and out of the front entrance to the Ameristar casino in St. Charles on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri gamblers can begin winning and losing at the state’s 13 casinos on June 1.

The casinos have been closed since March 17 as part of a push to stop the spread of COVID-19.

They had been set to open on May 15, but the Missouri Gaming Commission pushed that date another two weeks on Wednesday to accommodate various local government opening dates that differ from the state.

Gaming Commission Chairman Mike Leara earlier said a key part of the decision to keep the casinos closed beyond May 15 was competition across county borders. St. Charles County, home to the Ameristar Casino, for example, is set to reopen earlier than St. Louis County, potentially allowing one operator to gain a financial advantage.

He acknowledged that may not play well for casino operators in rural areas where there is less competition.

In Illinois, there is no opening date for casinos including the two in the Metro East: the Alton Argosy and the Casino Queen.

The Casino Queen and the city of East St. Louis, which depends on the Queen for tax revenue, could be adversely affected when Missouri casinos — especially Lumière Place in downtown St. Louis and River City in Lemay — reopen.

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